The Brig Niagara and Navy war ships will moor along Detroit’s riverfront from the first time since 1999
August 28, 2012
DETROIT— A key moment in American history is coming to life in Detroit. The U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard are joining with civilian groups to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in a series of special events in Detroit Sept. 4–10.
The War of 1812 set into motion forces that made the United States a global maritime superpower, and also inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the U.S. national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Nowhere was the war fought harder or with greater consequence than in the naval battles of the Great Lakes, where the British Navy met its match against the upstart Americans.
From Sept. 4–10, Navy war ships and an exact replica of the Brig Niagara will moor along the Detroit riverfront and be available for civilians to tour. The Brig Niagara was involved in one of the pivotal events in the War of 1812, the Battle of Lake Erie. During the skirmish, Oliver Hazard Perry, commanding the Brig Niagara, regained control of Michigan and turned the tide of the war.
More than 1 million people are expected to visit and view these ships — including the Brig Niagara, the USS Hurricane, USS De Wert and the USCGCGC Katmai Bay — to celebrate and learn more about American history and the role Detroit played in this significant battle.
General Motors Corporation is planning several commemorative events in front of the Renaissance Center (Ren Cen) where the ships will be docked, including a military country music concert Sept. 8 featuring three-time No. 1 Billboard Hot Country hit maker Darryl Worley. General Motors will also celebrate with a Navy Festival each day (Sept. 5–10), including Interactive flight simulators, an interactive submarine tank, a USMC display with vehicles and mounted weapons systems, a Navy helicopter display and more. Entertaining Navy and Marine band performances will also take place every day on stage outside the GM Ren Cen.
“We are honored to play host to the War of 1812 celebrations taking place in Detroit and all around southeastern Michigan next week,” said Dr. Jeff Pierce, Chairman of the War of 1812 Bicentennial committee. “For the first time in more than 13 years, our community will be able to tour the Brig Niagara and Navy war ships, which will be docked near the GM Ren Cen. We invite individuals and families to join us for this rare opportunity in Detroit to help commemorate the Navy’s rich history and heritage.”
For more information on public tours and other events, visit www.1812Detroit.com.